birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Squeeze You in Hello

Smooth skin and red lips. Dark brown hair, straight, parted in the middle. Big brown eyes with bushy eyebrows, high cheekbones, and a prominent nose. Skin the color of cafe au lait. A contagious smile, showcasing a row of straight white teeth. Her curvy, 5'10" frame is imposing, strong, welcoming. Her arms ready to squeeze you in hello. Toes are painted, the second one longer than the first, and usually in tightly fitting shoes.

She walks fast, jumbled, wavering. Next to you, she often bumps your arm. Her limbs are long as are her fingers. She puts a stylish bag on her arm. Her phone is in her back pocket, outlined in denim.

Her personality is exuberant, bubbly, friendly. She says things like, "Hey Girl," and "Yes Qween!" She is fluent in Spanish and has a slight accent of someone who can roll an R. But she also talks like a typical Californian girl.

Her driving is horrendous, or at least it used to be. She is always late, doing her makeup in the rearview mirror. But she manages to get that red lipstick and rockin' black eyeliner on perfectly while steering with her knees. She'd rather be done than early.

This is my friend, Charlotte Magdalena, or Chalena for short.

Routine Mothering

Things forgotten